Bloggerhood Etc. 1/26/15

Luzern Bridge

Photo: Niall Wallace/BBC News Magazine

Best Beginning.Introducing Our New Baby Boy” by Alice Callahan at Science of Mom.

Best Photoblog.The Camera That Captured People’s Lives” at BBC News Magazine.

Best Special Needs Post.I Know What Causes Autism” by Carrie Carriello.

Best Parenting Post.All My Issues With Goodnight Moon” by Raquel D’Apice at The Ugly Volvo.

Best Question.Is Your One-Word Resolution Holding You Back?” by Kelly Balarie at Purposeful Faith.

Most Thought-Provoking.The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and it is Not What You Think” by Johann Hari at Huff Post Politics.

Most Encouraging.Trust Between Friends and Strangers” by Alise Chaffins at Knitting Soul.

Best Idea.Uno, the Bomb, and How You Can Make Game Night More Epic” by B.K. Mullen at Dad on the Mic.

Best Commentary.Kirby Delauter’s Not the Only One Who Doesn’t Understand the First Amendment” by Tyler J. Francke.

Best Tribute.An Elegy for Casey” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know.

Best Essay. The Fighting Indians Earn It” by Peter Rugg at SB Nation.

Best Parody Video.New England Patriots Cialis Commercial Parody” by Bestonium.com (via YouTube).

“Ask your equipment manager.”

Giving Thanks by Giving

The First Thanksgiving

Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, The First Thanksgiving (1914)

Today, as we give thanks for all the blessings in our lives, it is important to remember those who have less than we do. This Thanksgiving weekend, as Native American Heritage Month draws to a close, let’s say a special prayer for the Original Americans, who most often are the Americans struggling the most.

Here are some ways to help them.

Futures for Children (http://www.futuresforchildren.org/)
Children’s education charity with connections in Red Mesa, AZ.
Charity Navigator rating: 3 out of 4 stars.

Native American Heritage Association Holiday Program (http://www.naha-inc.org/programs/holiday/)
Helping Native Americans living on the tribal reservations in South Dakota. Charity Navigator rating: 4 out of 4 stars.

Adopt a Native Elder (http://www.anelder.org/)
Providing for Navajo elders.
Charity Navigator rating: 4 out of 4 stars.

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (http://www.aises.org/index.php)
Increasing  American Indian and Alaska Native representation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
Charity Navigator rating: 3 out of 4 stars.

American Indian Services (http://www.americanindianservices.org/)
Providing scholarships, opportunity, and hope for Native Americans out of Provo, UT.
Charity Navigator rating: 3 out of 4 stars.

(Thanks to Peggy Rapier for posting this list on the Save the Redskins Facebook Group.)

Cowboys and Indians

AP Photo/G. Newman Lowrance

AP Photo/G. Newman Lowrance

All this talk about the Redskins name—which inevitably comes up when the team starts winning—got me thinking. I’ve already posed my hypothetical situation here. It involves compensation from the league and I don’t see that happening. But even if it did, I don’t want the name to change. I’d like to tell you why, but to do so, I need to start with a story.

About ten years ago or so, when Julia and I were dating, the subject of card games came up. Unlike me, she grew up playing card games with her extended family. We talked about a lot of games—some of which I knew and some I didn’t—and for some reason, we went off on a tangent to joke card games.

“Like Cowboys and Indians,” Julia said.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Well you get out a deck of cards, and you ask the person if they want to be the cowboy or the indian. When they say ‘cowboy,’ you shoot the cards all over the room and say ’round ’em up, pardner!'”

So another version of 52 Pickup. But I had one question.

“What if they pick ‘indian’?”

Julia shook her head. “No one ever picked ‘indian’.”

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About That Name

"O God, not this again!"

“O God, not this again!”

The controversy over the name of the Washington Redskins was the subject of a symposium last week at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. The mayor of Washington D.C. has mentioned this same controversy several times, suggesting a name change would be necessary if the team ever returns to the District. The Washington Post has chimed in again, as they do from time to time, and even the popular Redskins fan site Hogs Haven brought the subject up yesterday. This controversy is not going to go away, despite polls showing that the vast majority of Native Americans don’t find the name offensive.

Perhaps now is the time to consider a name change. The team is in transition, the last twenty years are mostly best forgotten, and the popularity of Robert Griffin III is bringing new fans to the team.

But let me say this. A name change will be a traumatic experience for the fan base. We’ve grown up rooting for the Redskins, and we are among the most persistent and passionate fans in all of sport.  The league will have to give something back in return to make the resulting upheaval worthwhile.

What do the Redskins need right now? What they’re currently short of, namely cap space and draft picks.

So I propose that, in return for the Redskins agreeing to change their name, the NFL should give back the full $36 million cap penalty—restoring all $18 million this year and raising the cap by $9 million in 2014 and 2015—and award two compensatory first round draft picks—placed immediately behind the picks we sent to the Rams—in the 2013 and 2014 draft.

Honestly, it’s a small price for the league to pay in return for some incredible PR. I think the Redskins could ask for more and possibly get it.

But let’s imagine the hypothetical deal I’ve described has been struck, and the Redskins are going to change their name. What are the possibilities?

I think the team should reject out of hand any names that tie in with the increasingly unpopular federal government. I also think they should avoid arbitrary names with no relationship to the team’s history, or stupid ideas like changing the name to just “Skins” or keeping the name but changing the mascot to a potato.

And above all the team colors must remain burgundy and gold. That is non-negotiable.

Taking all of the above into consideration, I think these are the three best (really least bad) options.

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